Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Social Work

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated Future Trends

In social work, services to new and newly defined populations will require adaptation of existing methods and the creating of new ones.  Economic trends affect the profession, especially in the view of anticipated social services budget cuts, critical examination of social administration and program evaluation (and the study thereof) will continue to increase.  New and evolving social problems will affect the provision of social services and research.  Demographic trends showing an increase in the number of older adults will place an emphasis on gerontological social work.  Interdisciplinary endeavors continue to grow in academia, including social work.  

The growth of data-intensive research must also be of direct concern. Grant-funded research will be increasingly subject to data management plan requirements, including considerations for publishing and sharing data. Relevant granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences directorate include these data management requirements. This will increase the need for social work research data publication venues.

B. Relationships to Other Resources

On campus branch or format collections

  • Digital and Multimedia Center: video materials are popular for instructional purposes
  • Murray and Hong Special Collections: materials related to social movements and popular psychology
    Popular psychology and self-help books are collected sparingly and with great discretion for the circulating social work collection. A small and select number of circulating books may be collected in order to support the campus community and titles that may be used by social workers to educate clientele, such as materials to support the work of the MSU Safe Place (relationship violence).
  • Government Documents: social policy related materials and statistics
  • Map Library: Geospatial information and data
  • Numeric Data: social data
  • MSU Digital Research Data: datasets produced by Social Work faculty

Other Collection Development Policy Statements for Subject Areas

  • Area Studies (international social issues) Materials related to social policy and social issues from particular geographic areas are collected by area studies, unless topics are directly related to social work practice, e.g., US and international social work comparisons.
  • Criminal Justice (child abuse, domestic violence, school violence, drug abuse, etc.) Materials are collected under the social work collection when topical relevance is to the treatment and exploration of such issues from a social services perspective.
  • Education (school social work)
  • Ethnic Studies (special populations)
  • History (social history)
  • Labor & Industrial Relations (work and family, retirement)
  • Law (statutes, appropriations, law, legislation)
  • Medicine (health care, public health)
  • Psychology (human development) Collection of counseling and child development related materials are largely collected through Psychology. Topics such as positive youth development and related programs, and micro/clinical practice will overlap and are collected under both areas.
  • Science (environment)
  • Sociology (social problems)
  • Urban Planning (urban development, housing)
  • Veterinary Medicine (veterinary social work, animal welfare)
  • Women and Gender Studies (special populations, marriage and family)

C. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility 

DEIA is an important are of interest for Social Work researchers, practitioners and the curriculum. Materials for the collection are sought both on and from underrepresented perspectives such as women, people of color, and the LGBTQIA community. Where appropriate, materials are collected from non-western perspectives to supplement the collection's United States focus.